The entire leadership of the controversial gay marriage advocacy group Standing Up for New Hampshire Families consists of lawyers and activists from New York City and Washington, DC, new documents obtained by NH Journal reveal. In fact, judging strictly from these organizational documents, the group has no connection to the Granite State whatsoever.
The official Articles of Agreement for the nonprofit corporation Standing Up for New Hampshire Families on file with the New Hampshire Secretary of State [appended below] reveal that the five “persons associating together to form the corporation”: include: Evan Wolfson and Marc Solomon from New York, as well as Martin Rouse, Karin Quimby and Elizabeth Getman from Washington, DC. Not one name from New Hampshire even appears on the documents.
“It’s as though they aren’t even pretending to be a grassroots group anymore,” one conservative activist told NH Journal.
None of the founders of Standing Up for New Hampshire Families has any apparent ties to the Granite State.
Mr. Rouse is the Field Director for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a powerful national gay marriage lobby. In 2008, Rouse urged gay donors to “target” New Hampshire because the “small state” has “national impact.”
Karin Quimby is also affiliated with HRC. She is the author of a text book titled “Queer Frontiers.”
Solomon and Wolfson are both affiliated with the national Freedom to Marry organization. Solomon’s writings make clear that he has little interest in New Hampshire. Instead he’s simply focused on a strategy to “win more states.”
Getman is an attorney with the Washington law firm Sandler, Reiff, Young & Lamb, P.C.
The revelation of these documents adds new intrigue to the swirling controversy between rival gay marriage lobby groups that are – or were – both funded completely through the same pool of out-of-state special interest money. It also demonstrates the intricate web of groups, sub-groups and front groups designed to advance the national organization’s ultimate goal: Full blown gay marriage across the country.
Standing Up for New Hampshire Families is a brand new offshoot of a national lobbying organization called Freedom to Marry. Until recently the national organization was the virtually exclusive funder of a separate organization called New Hampshire Freedom to Marry, which was, again until recently, headed up by activists Mo Baxey and Claire Ebel. But earlier this month Baxley saw her funding and her salary abruptly cut off by the national organization. Instead, Freedom to Marry now exclusively funds Standing Up for New Hampshire Families. And without that national funding, Baxley’s group is penniless and all but defunct.
The split and the cutoff of cash have created a good deal of acrimony within gay marriage circles. According to a recent Boston Globe story:
[NH Freedom to Marry Chairwoman Claire] Ebel said Standing Up for New Hampshire Families cut New Hampshire Freedom to Marry out of any meaningful decision-making and essentially tried to tell her group what to do.
“I’m chair of the organization and we were not invited in any meaningful way to participate,’’ said Ebel. “Once funding was cut off, we could not afford staff.’’
These disagreements have resulted in certain facts leaking out to the public and the press; specifically, that the effort to pass gay marriage in 2009 was funded by out-of-state money and once it was successful the financiers disassociated with New Hampshire activists almost immediately. That success was costly in other ways, as well. Numerous state legislators who voted for gay marriage – many of who had once promised they would do no such thing – were voted out of office and replaced by pro-traditional marriage candidates.
It is unclear how both the caustic split in the gay marriage community and the recent revelation about its out-of-state origins will impact efforts to overturn the gay marriage law that the New Hampshire House is now considering.